Emerging Technologies for SMBs

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1 + CONNECTIVITY WHITE PAPER WHITE PAPER Emerging Technologies for SMBs

2 Emerging Technologies for SMBs It s no secret that the pace of business is steadily increasing, fueled by dizzying innovations in technology. Cloud computing, mobile and unified communications technologies are becoming essential for modern business needs while operational budgets are tighter than ever. Small and Mid-sized Businesses (SMBs) are quickly adopting mobile applications to save time, increase productivity and reduce costs, and moving to cloud-based services to access technology and applications typically reserved for enterprises. With more than 60% of SMBs using cloud-based solutions today 1 and up to 40% more planning to adopt at least one cloud-based service, some businesses are already reaping the benefits. By incorporating cloud applications and storage into their business activities, SMB IT professionals expect to save 31% over the next five years. 2 Top cloud business applications employed by SMBs: (70%) + + Collaboration Software (40%) + + Financial Accounting (32%) + + HR Services (23%) This paper highlights recent developments in business technologies that offer SMBs opportunities to reduce costs and improve productivity. Integrating these technologies, however, will likely impact underlying voice, data, and Internet connectivity and increase bandwidth demands, requiring thoughtful review of your existing communications services and perhaps the provider that delivers them Columbus, Louis. Roundup of Small & Medium Business Cloud Computing Forecasts And Market Estimates, Forbes. Accessed November Emerging Technologies for SMBs

3 How Do SMBs Keep Pace? Very likely, business planning is an exercise you engage in on a regular basis. And yet, in a constantly shifting and evolving business environment, advance planning can be challenging at best. Do you really know what you ll need to outpace the competition in the months and years that lie ahead? Do you have a good grasp of the tools you must have on hand in order to arrive there in a position of strength? In recent years, there has been a significant shift away from what companies once believed to be must-have technologies. Until recently, business applications were predominantly driven by a clientserver architecture model, coupled with occasional Internet use and connections that supplied reasonable downloading speeds. Today s businesses are rapidly adopting a variety of Internet-based computing utilities, including the cloud, mobile applications and unified communications services all of which require both rapid downloading and uploading capabilities over the Internet or through private networks. The use of cloud applications, platforms and infrastructure is quickly becoming a costeffective, viable option for SMBs looking to reduce costs and improve effectiveness. When focused on the day-to-day details of running a business, the implications of these transformations and others can get lost in the shuffle. Understanding the directionality of these technologies will help ensure you have the right business model and network design in place to fully capture their benefits. 2 Emerging Technologies for SMBs

4 Leveraging Cloud Computing Cloud computing is transforming the way companies like yours do business. Today, through the cloud, you can access a growing range of applications and harness technologies on an as-needed basis, lowering operating and licensing costs. The cloud grants SMBs the functionality and abilities that have previously only seemed affordable for large enterprises. According to research by global strategy consultants AMI Partners, SMBs will be investing 15% of their IT budgets in cloud-based applications by Today s businesses are rapidly adopting a variety of Internetbased computing utilities, which require both rapid downloading and uploading capabilities. Part of what drives the interest in cloud computing are the as a Service web tools. These services typically come in three forms: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). SaaS provides goal-specific software over the Internet. Instead of purchasing and licensing an application on your personal computer, you can operate it from a Web browser. Examples of SaaS applications include Salesforce and Microsoft Office 365. PaaS delivers development tools, operating systems, application storage, and network capacity for developers to build and deploy Web applications. Examples of PaaS providers include Microsoft Windows Azure and Google App Engine IaaS supplies virtual hosting computer infrastructures, such as all of the hardware and facilities that make up a data center. IaaS examples include Amazon Web Services, Rackspace and GoGrid. The use of cloud applications, platforms and infrastructure is quickly becoming a cost-effective, viable option for SMBs looking to reduce costs and improve effectiveness. The types of applications that provide service through the Internet environment can be very demanding of bandwidth. Consumer-grade, broadband Internet, once the ally of SMB IT managers, may not be sufficient with the increase in Internet-driven services. To keep up with demand, newer and faster IT telecommunications resources should be investigated. 3 Emerging Technologies for SMBs

5 Implications of the Cloud Analysts predict an almost 20% growth in cloud solutions over the next five years, creating new requirements for Internet access and bandwidth. 2 Research by AMI Partners indicates that 42% of businesses are likely to increase their Internet access. In the past, business Internet needs were defined by sufficient download speeds to accommodate general web browsing, music sharing, photo downloads and graphics-intensive page loading. Those needs were largely fulfilled with improvements in broadband access. However, today s and tomorrow s business technologies will also demand higher upload speeds, particularly when it comes to powering more business-oriented applications like integrating voice and data, cloud applications, collaboration and remote access. Symmetrical bandwidth access is critical to a successful implementation of these new technologies. Where can SMBs leverage the cloud? + + Backup (cloud storage offers unlimited scale at fixed costs) + + File sharing (Supports remote access and collaboration) + + CRM (cost effective tools for managing customer lifecycle, tracking leads and storage) 2. Columbus, Louis. Roundup of Small & Medium Business Cloud Computing Forecasts And Market Estimates, Forbes. Accessed November Emerging Technologies for SMBs

6 Convergence Technologies Convergence technologies can be thought of as the merging of formerly unrelated technologies onto a common platform. For example, in the past, it was typical for businesses to employ disparate solutions for voice and data networks and ancillary features. However, today s technologies allow for cost-effective, convergence of these platforms. Advances in telecommunications technology now allow a single connection to seamlessly carry voice, data and Internet traffic. These converged services provide a flexible, dynamic and symmetrical bandwidth solution that users can shape to their own needs, delivering high-speed data and Internet service, as well as voice services to sophisticated PBXs, simple phones systems or simply as fullfeatured business lines. Depending on the customer configuration, this converged solution could replace a combination of standalone business lines, an asymmetrical DSL or cable-based broadband Internet connection and even multiple T1 services. These services can now be bundled or packaged together, with a host of additional features, to save on operating expenses and improve flexibility and quality of service. These essential SMB solutions include Ethernet Access, Cloud Security and Hosted Microsoft Exchange. + + Ethernet Access: Seamlessly delivers highspeed data, Internet access and voice services on a single connection, with speeds up to 60 Mbps. + + Virtual Private Network (VPN): Reserved networks between the head office and their branch offices and telecommuters. + + Cloud Security: Internet traffic overseen by a security service provider in the cloud. All tasks, applications and equipment needed to produce strong perimeter protection from cyber threats are outsourced. + + Hosted Microsoft Exchange: Cost-effective, secure cloud-hosted Microsoft Exchange services and collaboration software for unified communications needs. 5 Emerging Technologies for SMBs

7 Integra Can Help You Integra s network provides a convergent, IP-based, business-class service designed for customers who need to accommodate Internet-based cloud applications, mobile computing, unified communications services and other bandwidth intensive needs. We offer Ethernet access at speeds up to 60 Mbps, delivering fully-symmetrical data flow in both directions for speedy uploading and downloading, and a range of configurable, bundled services that help you maximize usage and capture cost efficiencies. Our fiber-optic network is continually expanding and undergoing enhancements to support new products and services. Integra s state-of-the-art fiber-optic backbone, coupled with our dedicated network engineers and capacity planning teams, ensure that our network has plenty of bandwidth and enhanced solutions for our customers now and in the future. PRODUCT Business Connect Hosted Voice Services DESCRIPTION Converged IP-Based Voice, Data and Internet Services delivered via dynamic Ethernet or T1 access, featuring symmetrical speeds up to 60 Mbps Cloud based voice service, with per seat pricing, offering the latest VOIP technology About Integra: Integra is one of the largest facilities-based providers of communication and networking services in the western United States. We connect businesses of all sizes with advanced technology solutions in 35 metropolitan markets. Integra owns and operates an enterprise-class network consisting of a 5,000-mile long-haul fiber-optic network, over 3,000 miles of metropolitan fiber and a nationwide IP/MPLS network. Private Networking Internet Access Services Layer 2 Ethernet Services, Layer 3 IP/MPLS VPN, Cloud Firewall Service, Private Line and Server Colocation Broadband high-speed Internet, Web Hosting, Hosted Microsoft Exchange and Online Data Storage SHARE Integra, Inc. All rights reserved. Communications and Networking Equipment Phone Systems, Managed Voice Services which include Managed and Hosted PBX Services, Data Equipment and Custom Solution Design For more information, contact an Integra sales representative at or visit 6 Emerging Technologies for SMBs

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